With the result of changing perceptions altering the demands of the travel industry, Viajecer, a tour operator in Brazil, meets these needs through providing an excellent combination of transformative and sustainable trips with social elements, culture, nature and history to increase travelers’ level of awareness about the places they are visiting. Viajecer’s proposal is ‘to travel differently’ and by providing a large variety of experiences to several different orientations of travelers, everyone is able to maximize their enjoyment of the destinations and escape from the traditional/mainstream travel itineraries, which are usually provided. Our team at Ravel were so happy to interview Alice Morais, the CEO of Viajecer, to gain better understanding of Viajecer’s operations and experiences but furthermore their vision for the future, to continue growing while the travel industry begins to bloom again!
Appreciating that Alice had a background within the Advertising and Communications industry, we were eager to first understand a little bit more about the CEO’s influences and decisions behind forming the present day operations of Viajecer.
1. “I have seen that you have a background in advertising and communications - I am just therefore curious as to how you got into your current role as CEO and why do you enjoy this field of work that you are doing?”
“I have been working within the communications and advertising industry for a long time - about 15 years and my experience of working with travel professionally began 3 years ago. I have continuously loved it and have felt a lot of passion for this field of work which is why I decided to create Viajecer in 2020. I believe I have a different vision about travel and tourism, moreover there needs to be more importance placed on the initiatives of sustainability”.
Alice then continued to explain the importance of Viajecer providing trips with different experiences with large emphasis on creating harmony between ecosystems and travelers but also to grow the conscientiousness of travelers whilst they are experiencing the unique destinations.
2. “Having read more about your background I have seen that in 2020 you participated in a project for the resumption of tourism in Brazil - promoting several cities and destinations. How was this project and how did it play out?”
Alice explained how she has several connections and friends within the tourism industry who benefited from the initiative of the project as many tourism operators in Brazil were finding it difficult to make enough money prior to this. She created this initiative to resume tourism in Brazil and by working with a producer she was able to make some trips and travel experiences that were showcased across social media platforms. By producing content from all the different areas visited, the project certainly helped other tour operators' expertise of work, overall depicting the initiative's success.
3. “Viajecer builds sustainable and transformative trips with social activities, entertainment, culture, history and nature to increase people’s levels of awareness. In your opinion, how important do you think it is to include all these different senses in a trip? Are there more people willing to try out all these different things and aspects during their travels?”
Alice firstly explained the actual meaning behind Viajecer which comes from the combination of two Portuguese words; Viajar and Crescer wich respectively means: to travel and to grow. Appreciating these two elements can help us to further understand why it is not only important to just travel and see places but through different cultural and natural experiences travelers are also able to grow.
“I think travelers need to understand their host, and to appreciate who they really are. Through the travel we provide we can show what there really is to offer and see, especially with cultural aspects.”
“There is an area called Xingu, an indigineous territory. There are 16 different ethnical groups in this same area and they all speak different languages. I think if people could visit here and experience these different ways of living, they will see and appreciate different ways of life and how others live.”
4. “Due to the pandemic, traveling has slowed down and declined. But do you think that prior to this there was a real concern with the effects of over tourism and too many travelers in destinations causing issues such as pollution, overcrowding and damaging nature?”
“With regards to sustainability there is a very different vision now. Also about ecotourism as we are working with ecotourism and during the pandemic we were able/ managed to get around the effects of the pandemic in different ways. But I think the pandemic did successfully bring a different view to people about nature and our surroundings”.
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Appreciating that there is in fact an increase in sustainability initiatives and projects around the world has played a great role within the tourism industry. Viajacer aims to have more purposeful and more conscious travel which would bring greater harmony to ecosystems. Viajecer’s main idea is to promote trips both for the entertainment of travelers but also for those that receive these travelers. In this way both sides are able to establish a beneficial experience and there is an equilibrium between both sides.
5. “Out of the different trips and travel opportunities that Viajecer has completed and done, which out of all the cases has been really important/ something that you would recommend?”
Alice firstly examined the interesting case of the ‘Kuarup’ ritual, celebrated by the indegenous people in the village of Upper Xingu. Alice further explored the tradition by appreciating that they have a good vision, styles of leadership and that she has learnt a lot with these people.
“These people have a different way of living and from experiencing their culture I am also able to see life with a different perspective. There are a lot of things to learn from these people, from aspects such as their contact with nature or even just their way of life which is a lot simpler but this is okay”.
Alice continued further to explain that “I think we created an idea that we need a lot of things in our life to support us and to continue to grow. But this shouldn’t be the only way. I think it is also definitely important to think of several ways to help people”.
“There is an African expression called 'Isirika' which envisions a different way of life in which people are encouraged to help others. Those that have more should have the pleasure to help others - it is not about competition and crossing over your connections, but instead it is about love and building connections”.
Alice continued to describe the Xingu region, which is furthermore very fascinating due to the large variety of different languages spoken. Just within the same community it is possible that they can speak 2 or 3 different languages. This proves to be a little difficult to communicate with these people, but they do know some Portuguese so we can learn about and appreciate the diversity and the richness that they have within their region.
6. Following your efforts in Paranaguá, there has been a great visitation plan for tourists for 2022 and also the production and distribution of a web series with 3 episodes. Can you confirm that your publicity and promotion of these places greatly improves the tourism in these areas?
After visitation the content is captured through video and photos which is put together for promotional purposes. Regions such as Paranaguá have a large variety of cultural experiences on offer such as museums but they are not so visited. According to Alice; “we have to increase the promotion of places that are not so known yet”. In comparison there are so many places and areas in Brazil which are overcrowded and full of tourists which in some cases might cause the areas to lose their identities furthermore in some cases the destination might not be able to properly deal with the pure amount of visitors. And yet instead there are still so many beautiful places and regions that are still not known or visited which are just as beautiful and unique as the traditional destinations in Brazil. These other places ought to be promoted and advertised to allow people to visit and explore them which would benefit the communities here whilst also drawing away some crowds from the overcrowded destinations that are simply too full.
“An example is in the place of Mato Grosso, called Barra do Garças. Here there are beautiful waterfalls, perhaps the most beautiful that I have seen in my life, but people don’t know this place and so we have to show it/ promote it to bring people to these beautiful places so they can experience it!”
Furthermore a lot of the places that Alice mentioned are not only beautiful and unique but also cheaper in price compared to the traditional overpriced tourist destinations of Brazil. For this reason travelers would not only gain the advantage of exploring beautiful untouched locations but they would also be able to do this at relatively lower costs compared to the other popular tourist destinations.
7. Now that the pandemic is slowly starting to decline, what do you think the future of travel will look like? What are your visions for Viajecer’s future?
“I think travel will be more and more conscious and there will be a greater focus on nature as more people want contact with nature during their travels. I am happy with this as I think the rise in conscious tourism is a wonderful thing, so I think this kind of travel opportunities will increase in popularity. I also believe there might be more exchange opportunities within the country - such as exchange of cultures and knowledge between the citizens of Brazil.”
Alice continued to say that as a society we need to reduce the number of prejudices we have to allow further growth and development for our future generations.
“For exchange opportunities there are lots of platforms and social media to allow this to happen. Our generation is very dependent on technology and being online and so we ought to do something with this - to use all this technology and connections to our use. We are lucky to have all this and we should use it to our advantage”.
From these questions and responses we can appreciate the future growth and visions of Viajecer whilst also exploring their current efforts and past initiatives that have been a success. The growth in the travel industry for 2022 is imminent and more and more people will be willing to get out there and try new experiences. So why not do some extra searching to perhaps visit a place this time that isn’t a traditional overcrowded spot! Or become a more conscientious traveler through engaging in culturally rich activities. Have a browse through Viajecer’s website and social media to gain some inspiration or to find out further information about the unique services provided throughout the beautiful country of Brazil! https://ilinks.com.br/experienciasviajecer. If you need any futher help reach out to our team at Ravel and we can also help plan your next getaway to Brazil; so you can travel with local planners such as Viajecer to make the most of your travel through the expertise of local knowledge that Viajecer provides. Browse through our website and start planning your trip with us so you can also enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of Brazil.